Issan Dorsey once described himself as a ``faggot speed-freak cross dresser,'' a description that only hints at the outrageousness of his life of substance abuse, prostitution, and female impersonation before embracing Zen in late-Sixties San Francisco. Author Schneider, himself a Zen practitioner and friend of Dorsey, presents an evenhanded account of Dorsey's extraordinary life and death. Dorsey is probably best remembered for his work with the gay community in San Francisco and the establishment of the Maitri hospice for people with AIDS, where he died of the disease in 1990. This work is not an introduction to Zen, but for anyone with an interest in the subject the book raises important questions. It gives a clear handling of the paradox that was Dorsey and the great compassion that he embodied. Recommended for public libraries.-- Mark Woodhouse, Elmira Coll. Lib., N . Y .